Parents of Evans infant arrested on child abuse charges

Local News

EVANS, Colo. (KDVR) — Police have arrested the parents of an infant on child abuse charges after a 3-month-old was taken to the hospital in critical condition in November.

Twenty-three-year-old Raphael Engwongowo of Evans and 27-year-old Cheyenne Villa of Greeley were taken into custody. Engwongowo also faces misdemeanor charges for falsely reporting information to authorities. Villa was also arrested on allegations of witness and evidence tampering.

Back in November, officers were dispatched to an emergency room where the 3-month-old was being treated for seizures. Doctors later learned the baby was also suffering from internal bleeding in his brain. They made the decision to fly the infant to Children’s Hospital in Aurora.

After being admitted to the Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Hospital, it took several days to stabilize the baby so that doctors could could assess his condition. Medical staff determined the baby also had several broken bones throughout his body.

Weeks after the infant was admitted to Children’s Hospital, he was released to Child Protective Services. Police said he has suffered irreversible brain damage and will face significant challenges for the rest of his life.

Detectives have spent the last few months investigating the case with the Weld County District Attorney’s Office. Police said the investigation turned into a “very complex and difficult child abuse case.” They secured warrants to arrest the parents on Wednesday.

Engwongwo was contacted by the Greeley Police Department on an unrelated incident and was arrested on the evening of April 21. Villa was taken into custody by the Evans Police Department on the morning of April 22.

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